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Red and white cane

Since the beginning of the year 2001 the deafblind people have got an important tool/aid for the movement in the public spaces, streets and crossings – and that is the red and white cane.

The Decree No. 30/2001 Coll. of the Ministry of Transport and Communication, which sets the rules for transport and movement and control of the transport on the ground communications, included Jan 10 th 2001 with the force since Jan 31 2001 spacial marking of a deafblind person.

Till that moment the deafblind i.e. people with partial or complete parallel loss of sight and hearing, were using white stick, which indicates a blind person. But thanks to the insufficient differentiation the deafblind people often met with misunderstanding, when for example they did not react to drivers appeals at the crossings or they reacted in an unsuitable way to an offer of help from the healthy public, and sometimes it was even dangerous for the deafblind person.

Thanks to the red and white cane with stripes of 100mm the deafblind may now move with increased safety in the city and in the transport. The red and white cane directly lets you know that you are facing a deafblind person.

Communication with a deafblind person is more difficult, but sometimes thanks to the compensatory aids it is possible to make contact without knowledge of specialized communicational means (for example the Lorm's touch alphabet).

We believe that the red and white cane will bring to the deafblind increased self confidence and respect by the public.

Helping a deafblind person – do's and dont's

You are driving your car and you see a pedestrian with a red and white cane trying to cross the road…

Do: Be patient. It will take a deafblind person longer to cross the road. If it is safe, get out and offer help.

Don't: Drive around them.

Don't: Hurry the across the road by driving up closer or revving your engine – this will alarm them and could cause an accident.

You see a deafblind person you think might need help crossing the road, getting on a bus or train, or going into a shop…

Do: Touch them gently on the arm or shoulder and speak clearly. If they don't seem to hear you, try spelling words on their palm with your finger. They will then indicate if they want help, and what you can do to assist.

Don't: Grab their arm – you might alarm them.

Don't: Lead them off before you know what they want you to do.